- Manchester City have expressed concern about meeting Liverpool in Europe
- It emerged a group of Liverpool fans are planning a hostile reception
- Police have warned fans found with flares or pyrotechnics could face prison
Police have warned that any supporters found in possession of flares and pyrotechnics at Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Manchester City could be sent to prison.
As revealed by Sportsmail on Monday, City officials expressed ‘serious concerns’ after it emerged that a group of Liverpool supporters are planning a hostile reception for their team coach ahead of the April 4 first leg.
A poster circulating on social media urged fans of Jurgen Klopp’s side to congregate on the streets close to Anfield more than two hours before kick-off to give Pep Guardiola and his squad a ‘coach greeting’ – and called on them to arrive armed with pyrotechnics.
Police have warned Liverpool fans ahead of an alleged hostile reception planned for Man City
A poster circulating on social media urges supporters to gather on the streets close to Anfield
That prompted City to pass their concerns on to police, and now officers on Merseyside have sent out a strong warning.
Superintendent Paul White said: ‘We are aware that fans have indicated they plan to gather ahead of the Champions League match to be played on 4 April 2018 between Liverpool and Manchester City.
‘While recognising that some supporters feel they can add to the atmosphere of the occasion, the use of flares and other pyrotechnics at and around football matches is a concern. We fully support the club in working to eradicate this dangerous and reckless practice and would ask that supporters work with us.
‘The police and courts take these offences very seriously and prosecution can result in a prison sentence. I would remind people that this can apply not only within the stadium, but also in the surrounding streets and when attempting to enter the ground.’
City expressed ‘serious concerns’ to police after it emerged fans are planning to give their team bus a hostile reception
The poster declared: ‘We’re going to show them exactly what money can’t buy,’ and added: ‘Bring your flares and flags. Banners and bangers. Pints and Pyro. There will be thousands of scouse voices ready to scare em back to Mancland with their tails between their legs before the match even starts.’
It was shared by the Redmen TV Twitter account, which has 133,000 followers, was retweeted 327 times and liked 480 times on Monday afternoon.
Supt White added: ‘Merseyside Police will have a comprehensive policing operation in place, alongside Liverpool Football Club, in preparation for the fixture.
As with any match, we have worked to ensure that this game can be enjoyed by all in a safe environment, as well as minimising any disruption on the roads. We will liaise with both clubs and their supporter groups to ensure the event is enjoyed safely by everyone.
‘There will be additional officers on duty at the ground and we will have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day, to further ensure that spectators and visitors to the city are kept safe and to smoothly facilitate the movements of those travelling to and from the game.’